Well! Which is the better place? Is it Ooty or Kodaikanal?
This one is a very often asked query among the people. Wait! You are at the right place. I will answer it for you.
If you talk about Ooty and Kodaikanal then, the most common thing is that both are the best hill stations to visit in South India.
Both of these hill stations have pretty much a lot in common. So, comparing them won’t be so easy. But, I will do it for you.
While Ooty is called the “Queen of Nilgiri Hill station”, on the other hand, Kodaikanal is called “Princess of Hill stations”.
Both of these places have a very important role to play. And, both are known for its excellent weather, soothing environment, and mesmerizing natural beauty.
Well! That’s not all. A full comparison is still left behind in the rest of this article.
So, what’s NEXT? Just keep reading…
Ooty Vs. Kodaikanal: Destination Summary
Here’s the destination synopsis that can help you a lot!
- Ooty: Ooty is located at a height of about 2240m above sea level in the Nilgiri Hills district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located in the Nilgiri Hills
- Kodaikanal: Kodaikanal is located at a height of about 2133m above sea level in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located in the Palani Hills.
- Ooty: This hill station is known as the “Queen of Nilgiri Hill Stations”. The Nilgiris District Comprises of six taluks viz. Ooty, Kundah, Coonoor, Kotagiri, Gudalur, and Pandalur. And, Ooty is the most visited tourist attractions amongst all these places. Its main attractions are the mountains and green valleys. and, so being the most popular and pristine hill station.
- Kodaikanal: Its name in the Tamil language means “The Gift of the Forest” and is also referred to as the “Princess of Hill stations”. The Queen is Ooty far awesome then Kodaikanal. It’s a hilly lakeside resort town nestled amidst the rolling slopes of the Palani Hills. Its location and serenity make it a retreat and popular tourist hill destination of India.
Best Time To Visit:
- Ooty: April to June and September to November
- Kodaikanal: October to April
How to reach:
- Ooty: The very best way is to reach by bus directly to Ooty. To reach Ooty the nearest railhead is Mettupalyam Station, 40 km from Ooty. And, the nearest airport is Coimbatore International Airport, Coimbatore 98 km away.
- Kodaikanal: The very best way is to reach by bus directly to Kodaikanal. The nearest airport is Madurai Airport (IXM) 120 km away. Nearest Railway Station is Kodaikanal Road Railway Station (KQN) 100 km away.
Cost of travelling: It’s just an average estimation
- Ooty: For Budget traveler (₹ 1000-2400 per day), For Mid-range traveler(₹ 1900-4200 per day), For High-end traveler (₹ 6000-15400 per day)
- Kodaikanal: For Budget traveler (₹ 1150-2400 per day), For Mid-range traveler(₹ 2500-4200 per day), For High-end traveler (₹ 8600-15400 per day)
Based on Budget Travel:
- Ooty: Best, Popular, Crowded during peak season time, Costly
- Kodaikanal: Better, No so popular like Ooty, Not so crowded like Ooty during peak season time, Cheaper comparatively
Reason To Travel:
- Ooty: If you want to cover lots of sightseeing locations then Ooty is the place. Moreover, if you want to go anywhere else then it has many adjoining areas to cover like Conoor, Kothagiri, etc. just nearby the hill town.
- Kodaikanal: If you just want to lay back, visit only a few places, and relax with mother nature then definitely visit Kodaikanal.
- Ooty: By bus, taxi, auto-rickshaw
- Kodaikanal: By taxi, mountain biking
Ooty Vs. Kodaikanal: The weather
Both Ooty and Kodaikanal has awesome weather all throughout the year. During the winter season between December to February, you can feel the chill.
Both are year-round destinations. That means you can visit there at any time of the year.
But, during the monsoon season between June to September both of these destinations receive a good amount of rainfall for about 15-25 days in a month. People who love rainfall and green landscapes that bloom well during the monsoon can head over to any of this destination.
If you want to enjoy the outdoor activities, sightseeing, and overall enjoy the best of Ooty or Kodaikanal then, you can visit both or anyone you wish between October to June.
Between October to June months of the year, the weather is pleasant and you can get involved in outdoor activities in both of these places, whichever you choose.
In very simple words, there’s not much difference if you see between Ooty and Kodaikanal.
If you can visit Ooty, you will also be able to visit Kodaikanal of course, at the same time of the year. But, remember the winters in Ooty are colder than the rest of South India.
Which has more tourist attractions and things to do: Ooty or Kodaikanal
Ooty has more tourist attractions and things to do as compared to Kodaikanal. Both of these places are popular for their unique experiences but, majority of the attractions can be seen in Ooty.
Ooty has a higher altitude and more sightseeing places to visit. Kodaikanal has fewer attractions and is situated at a lower height than Ooty.
In Ooty, you can visit places like Avalanche Lake, Ooty Lake, Emerald Lake, Parsons Valley, Ooty Botanical Garden, Wax World, Ooty Rose Garden, Needle View Hillpoint, Doddabetta Peak, Deer Park, Mukurthi National Park, Kalhatty Waterfalls, Kamraj Sagar Dam, Mudumalai National Park, Tribal Research Center, Pykara Waterfalls, St Stephens Church, Toda Huts, Wenlock Downs, and many, many more.
In Kodaikanal, you can visit places like Coaker’s Walk, Kodai Lake, Bryan’s Park, Bear Shola Waterfall, Lutheran Church, Chettiyar Park, Devil’s Kitchen, Pillar Rocks, Dolphin Nose, Echo Point, Mountain View, Astrophysical Observatory, Liril Falls, and Vattakanal Falls. That’s far less than Ooty.
In Ooty, you can enjoy Trekking, Paragliding, Nature walks, Horse riding, Mountain Biking, Angling, Hang Gliding, and Boating in various places. Here in Ooty, you can also go for the Nilgiri Toy Train ride.
In Kodaikanal, you can enjoy camping, trekking, nature walks, and boating only in a few of the places. Kodaikanal is best for sightseeing and boating in the Kodaikanal Lake.
How many days required for a trip
If you want to visit a place you must know the required number of days you need in order to visit that place.
It’s true that both Ooty and Kodaikanal are perfect destinations for an awesome honeymoon, friends, or indeed a family trip. Both of these are very pristine locations in Tamil Nadu.
But, in order to enjoy these destinations, you must at least have the recommended number of days that can make your trip a memorable one.
So, what’s the recommended number of days for a perfect trip?
You will need at least 3 full days in order to visit Ooty if you just want to enjoy an awesome holiday covering all of the main attractions.
A 3 days trip will only be enough if you spend a full 3 days in Ooty excluding the travel time you have to spend to reach Ooty from anywhere in India. In simple words, 3 days are required only in Ooty.
These 3 days must include your travel and sightseeing in Ooty. A common Ooty itinerary doesn’t exceed more than 3 days.
Just in case, you want to enjoy a wholesome vacation trip where you can enjoy all the activities, nearby places, and attractions leisurely you will need at least 6 days.
A 3 days trip will be just enough to visit Kodaikanal. Kodaikanal has a lot of nature and beauty to see. So, if you spend 3 days there, you will explore and enjoy yourself a lot.
If in case, you spend less than 3 days, there are chances that you will be missing a lot of places or you have to spend less time in each location to cope up with the time.
Just in case, you want to enjoy an overall full-fledged trip where you can enjoy all the activities, nearby places, and attractions leisurely you need at least 5 days.
Similarities between Ooty and Kodaikanal
There’s a lot of similarities between Ooty and Kodaikanal. Both are the pristine hill stations of Tamil Nadu and both has a long history of hill station retreat.
Let’s talk about the similarities in brief:
- Both Ooty and Kodaikanal are located in Tamil Nadu.
- Both of these places are popular hill stations that are a part of the famous Western Ghats mountain ranges that stretches to the state of Tamil Nadu.
- Both of the places feature a similar subtropical highland climate. The best time to visit both of them is during winter. The summers are not hot and remain pleasant and breezy in both places.
- Both Ooty and Kodaikanal are the famous honeymoon hill stations of Tamil Nadu. Not only for couples but also for family or friends tour as well.
- Both of these places are famous for sightseeing, nature walks, trekking, camping, horse riding, and boating.
- Both of these destinations are fit for a budget-traveler. You can get budget-friendly hotels, hostels very easily. In both places, you will find cheaper means of transport too. Particularly for an Indian, a trip to both Ooty and Kodaikanal will cost almost the same if we ignore the slightly expensive flights.
- In both of these places, the cost of travel for a budget traveler is somewhat between ₹ 1000-2000 per day based on your type of trip.
- Both of these locations are still untouched from the hustle and bustle of daily life, relatively crowd-free, and home to the beautiful lakes and parks.
- Be it weekend retreats or long holidays, you can expect to see huge crowds making their way to both of these destinations from the cities of Bangalore, Chennai and other parts of India.
Difference between Ooty and Kodaikanal
Each of these destinations has some uniqueness that can’t be matched with the others.
Although there’s a lot of similarities between Ooty and Kodaikanal, there are differences as well. These differences make one unique from the other.
Let’s talk about the differences in brief:
- Ooty is situated in the Nilgiri Hills whereas, Kodaikanal is situated in the Dindigul district of the state of Tamil Nadu, India.
- Kodaikanal is well known for its fruit orchards. In the orchards of Kodaikanal, fruits like pears, peaches, grapes, plums, etc. are grown in abundance. Whereas, Ooty is famous for the popular growth of the blackened Nilgiri tea leaves in estates across the town.
- Ooty is called the “Queen of Nilgiri Hill station”. Whereas, Kodaikanal is called “Princess of Hill stations”.
- Ooty is located at a height of about 2240m. Whereas, Kodaikanal is located at a height of about 2133m. Ooty is higher than Kodaikanal.
- Kodaikanal is known as the “Gift of the Forest” also, while Ooty is lovingly referred to as, “Queen of Hill Stations” only.
- Kodaikanal has dense forests and enriching wildlife. Whereas, Ooty doesn’t have much of dense forests but only thin Pine Tree Forests and lush green sightseeing places
- Ooty has the UNESCO Heritage Nilgiri Mountain Toy Train Rides. Whereas, Kodaikanal doesn’t have any heritage spots.
- Ooty has various popular gardens like Botanical Garden and Rose Garden that are the charm of the town. Kodaikanal only has Bryant Park which is a botanical garden located to the east of the Kodaikanal Lake.
- Both Ooty and Kodaikanal have awesome and pristine lakes which are the centre of all activities, but Kodaikanal has some relatively secluded and pristine lakes which are away from the town centre, like Berijam Lake.
- Kodaikanal has Pillar’s Rock Hilltop for providing bird’s view of the nearby surroundings. Ooty has Dodabetta Peak, the highest one among the other 24 higher peaks in the Nilgiri Hills to provide various marvellous views.
- You can head to Coonoor to get away from the crowds in Ooty. Kodaikanal has the nearby Berijam forests for seclusion and tranquillity.
Ooty Vs. Kodaikanal: Pros & Cons
See, before I say you about the Pros and Cons of these two different locations, I must admit that every place has something unique to offer.
The things that you will enjoy Ooty can’t be seen or compared to those in Kodaikanal. So, it will be better that you plan your time and visit both of these places to feel it.
At the very end, it really comes down to one’s personal preferences and experiences and likes and dislikes while selecting a particular destination from the list of Ooty or Kodaikanal options.
So, let’s read about the Pros & Cons of both Ooty & Kodaikanal:
- It’s easy to travel. Good Roads connectivity is there connecting Ooty to the rest of Tamil Nadu.
- Both direct buses and trains are available to reach Ooty.
- Easy to reach by bus. Both KSRTC Karnataka and TNSTC Tamil Nadu and other private bus operators run buses between Ooty and other major places in South India.
- Many tourist places to visit as compared to Kodaikanal.
- Ooty is now a mix of both a commercialized and nature-loving location. You can see both modernization and peaceful nature here.
- Ooty attracts flock of tourists every now and then. It stays extremely crowded during the peak season time.
- Very few budget-friendly stays and lots of luxurious hotels and resorts. So, if you are a budget-traveler then book your hotel months before your trip or, you won’t find any budget-friendly available options later on.
- Better weather than Ooty. Less modernization and more of nature.
- More forests covering than that of Ooty.
- Not so crowded as that of Ooty. The tourist rush is much lesser than Ooty.
- In terms of greenery, Kodaikanal is far better than Ooty.
- Hotel tariffs and taxi fares are lower compared to Ooty.
- For accommodation, you will get many budget-friendly stays and lots of luxurious hotels and resorts as well. Kodaikanal has all for every type of traveler.
- Compared to Ooty, there are not too many places to see and not many things to do as well.
- Not many public transport options in Kodaikanal. There are no auto-rickshaws and local buses. Only cabs and taxis are available for commuting within the city.
- Adventure activities are limited to only trekking, camping, horse riding, and boating.